TriX faster than TMZ in Diafine?
I've been thinking about purchasing some TMZ or Delta 3200 in 35mm for no reason other than speed. I usually use Trix in D76, and I understand that Trix is pushable, but I didn't figure it pushed well to E.I.s as high as TMZ goes. Pushing sounds like a bit of a gamble to me too, to be honest. I hate to add another film to the mix, but sometimes I just have a need for speed.
Then I was reading the The Diafine data sheet which recommends an EI of 1600 for TriX and 1250 for TMZ. What's going on here? 1600 isn't quite 3200 yet, but I find it puzzling that the faster film would be slower in this very strange developer. Are there yet other developers or techniques that can push TriX well enough that I wouldn't need to buy TMZ?
This highlights the problem with the term "pushing".
"Pushing" really means increasing development, to increase contrast in the mid-range and highlights. It has very little to do with exposure.
If it was possible to increase the light sensitivity of the film, and increase detail in the shadows, it would be nice, but "pushing" doesn't do that.
The reason we "push" is usually because we are shooting in dim, low contrast light, and we are willing to sacrifice shadow detail in order to get usable shutter speeds. Exposure at the box speed would normally result in thin, muddy mid-tones and highlights, so we "push" the development to bring the density and contrast of those mid-tones and highlights up, and make the overall appearance of the print more pleasing.
Diafine deals with the issue in very different ways. If you are going to try Diafine, experiment first, because the way that Diafine renders contrast is quite different.
As a tool, used when the lighting conditions and nature of the subject benefit from it, Diafine can be a blessing. You just have to know when those conditions are present, and respond accordingly.
P.S. Tri-X isn't "faster" in Diafine, it just responds differently to the shadows in Diafine than TMZ
Matt is correct. It takes testing. I found the EI 1600 rating of Tri-X in Diafine to be a bunch of hoopla. I couldn't shoot any higher than EI 1000 and I much preferred the negs I got at 800.
I used it in full daylight because I think Diafine holds back contrast quite a bit. I found myself asking why I was doing this, because in full daylight I can shoot ISO 100 and get good shutter speeds at reasonable aperture.
Both Kodak TMZ and Delta 3200 are not ISO 3200 films. They are more about ISO 800 or maybe a 1000. I have worked with Delta 3200 a fair amount, and it is lovely film. Especially in medium format it's amazing. Hand held indoor portraits, for example. I need that extra stop and a half to do that compared to an ISO 400 film.
Also, Delta 3200 in itself is quite low in contrast. If you shoot it at EI 1600, process it (as a starting point) at Ilford's recommended time for EI 3200. Makes a great starting point to build on as you gain more experience with the film and what it's capable of.
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I've shot a bit of Tri-X in Diafine. I was mainly using it at rock shows, metered at 1250. Negatives came out decent, but in retrospect, I should have given them an extra stop of exposure based on my metering (spot meter on the face of the performer, no compensation). Despite the fact that that method basically underexposed by a bit, the shots came out acceptable.
I think TMZ would have been better in the situation, but I was shooting 4-8 rolls per show, and the idea of cutting my costs in half AND spending 6 minutes developing instead of 15-20 sounded like a good idea. And was a good idea. I'd take a roll or two of TMZ with me just in case if EI 1250 wasn't going to be enough.
Even though TMZ is an ISO 800-1000 film, it is designed for pushing. As long as its not out of date, I'd shoot it at 1600 with NO problems. Perfectly printable at normal grades with good shadow detail. If you need the extra stop, go to 3200. You'll sacrifice a bit of shadow detail, but again, it looks pretty good, is perfectly useable and dependable. I think going much higher than that starts to compromise the image too much, but if you don't mind the look, go for it.
20+ years ago, I was employed to install and maintain "incident" cameras in banks. I had 95 locations and several hundred cameras. They all were loaded with 100ft rolls of Tri-X. (Which we bought by the case - those were the days)
Most were set at ISO400 and developed normally. But, in situations where the light was low, I would mark the camera (and set the aperture) for ISO1000 and soup the film in Acufine - very similar to Diafine in application. If I were doing this today, however, I would use TMZ or Delta 3200 in those situations, rated at 1600 and developed for the "recommended" times for 3200, as has been suggested above.
Again, a little trial and error is in order for you.
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I should say that I develop my TMZ in XTOL 1:1 at the listed times in the pdf. Comes out fine for both scanning and darkroom printing.
Thanks for the excellent info. Does Delta 3200 do OK in D76?
Part of me was wishing that I could simply buy some Diafine and shoot $1.75/roll bulk Arista Premium, instead of $6.49/roll Delta 3200. But another part of me knows that TANSSAAFL.
According to the massive dev chart, Neopan 1600 can be rated at 2400 when souped in Diafine.
"Does Delta 3200 do OK in D76?" Experimentation needed?
That I do not know, however 120 format D-3200 in HC-110 at EI 3200 was great [tonality good, moderate-sized grain]. I favour high dilutions and my notes aren't here. I'm guessing dilution F (1+79) or H (1+63). DD-X is often suggested for Delta 3200, T-Max developer, too.
I use XTOL because its supposed to be a speed increasing developer. Same with DD-X I think. If you're pushing, any little bit helps.
Try some Arista Premium in Diafine. It's a good deal and might be what you want. Or at least good enough for 1/3 of the price. Diafine is also useful for those strange off brands of film that I can't find developing info for XTOL. Shoot a roll at 1/2x to 3x ISO and pick the speed that looks good in Diafine. Or just shoot it at box speed.